Too Windy to Ride?

Big O

Physicist Genii
Donating Member
We had some high winds out here in SoCal about a month back and I was going home at 3am and a gust hit me and before I knew it I had changed lanes! Pucker factor of 10. Hardly any cars around so there was nothing to hit, but I was glad I wasn't on a one lane over pass.

Question, Has anyone determined that it was too windy to ride for fear of being blown into adjacent traffic or a concrete barrier?

We're supposed to have winds gusting 20 to 40 mph today. Getting hit by 40 mph gusts from the side is a little unnerving to say the least.
Hey Bren,

I can definitely relate to you on that scenario. I ran into the exact same situation a few months ago while coming home from work. I'm not sure of the specific wind gusts, but it was pushing me all over the place. I was at Pucker factor 10 squared while crossing the I-210 bridge. This bridge is approx. 350ft high (top center) because it must allow large tankers to go under it to reach the Port of Lake Charles. Anyway, traffic was fairly light since I had worked over about 2hrs. If this would have occurred at my normal quitting time, traffic would have been horrific. Anyway, I tried slowing down a little, but it would get worst. I found the best way to handle such winds is to tuck yourself and speed up even if the wind blasts are coming from the side. Just thought I'd share that experience with you.

I have to agree with both of you I didnt really notice it as much on my 1100 but the Busa seems to hate high winds or any wind at high speeds. I went up Mt Washington where there are always alot of winds I thought I was going to get pushed off the mountain. Not good with all of those cliffs around and no guard rails big pucker factor that time. Also wheelies hate wind I think its cause of that big front fender catching air under it when the tire is up. I have had a couple scarys with those. The only other thing I have noticed anything over 160 indicated you need no wind at all or it feels like hell. Must be the aerodynamics of it. Up to 160 it is solid as a rock but after that you need really good conditions.
If ya just take a look at the side view of a busa, you will see why it doesn't fair well with side winds.
Where I live, it is a very windy place most of the year. Also the "Windsurfing Capitol of the World" so you get my drift...

Anyway, riding on hwy 14 in Washington in the Eastern end of The Gorge, the hiway is narrow, and is snugged up against the cliff walls... you could be just fine, and come up on a tiny valley through the cliff from the side, and prepare for a 0mph side draft to a 30mph side slam out of the blue.

The first few times it hit me, I was like "WTF am I DOING??" Oncoming traffic at 60mph and such.

Here is what I learned to help. This was learned by driving on a 4 mile strech everyday of my 'commute' with a solid 30mph west wind hitting me at a square 90 degrees...
1) like you guys said, TUCK.
2) you know how you push the side of the handlebar in the direction you want to go? Say you have a side wind hitting you on the right side. Instead of having to lean your bike into the wind, try pushing that side of your handlebars into the wind. It will help you stay vertical, and alot easier to recover when the wind suddenly goes away, and you don't want to look like a squid in rough seas.

The side of the busa is like a brick wall and has no give. This is a good subject Brennanop brought up, as alot of riders don't know how to deal with the wind.
Almost forgot, if it is really windy and you are passing alot of cars on the freeway, especially the big rigs, get ready for that gust when you pass that vehicle!
I agree with everything thats been said, but I've also found out that it helps to ride on the inside of the lane on the side the wind is blowing from that way if you are pushed over you are still in the lane.
I find my Busa' very nervous feeling on the interstate when passing or being past (rare) by a semi. Also, just traveling behind a semi makes it feel like your doing 200MPH on ice. When it's just a side wind you can always just correct by pushing the bar - as was mentioned earlier. But semis on the interstate at 80 + MPH make the pucker factor move up a couple of notches. (I line comes to me from Ferris Bueller - something about a lump of coal and a diamond)
High winds truly do suck and yes those involuntary lane changes do get your attention very quick. Been there done that and no I don't like it. If it's to windy the bike stays in the garage.
TUCK and PUSH! Push that handlebar in the direction of the wind.

Yea if it's too windy, I clean the bike instead of riding it, lol

Thanks guys!

Seems like I've been doing everything you guys are doing too.

The wheels seem to want to "blow out" from under you when the wind is coming from the side, so I "experimented" a while back and found that if the winds are blowing from the left, I tuck, Pull the left handlebar, lean a little to the left, keeps the bike upright.  Speed helps, I figure 70 + a 40 gust = 110 and still stable.  I was on the right side of the lane hugging the line but still got blown all the way across the lane and 2 ft into the next lane.  I was ready for it next time.  I know just where it's going to be windy and won't stay next to cars.

The only good thing from all of this: If the cars behind me see me wigglin' in the wind, they back waaaay off, no tailgaters in traffic. I plan on riding to work tonight so I'll let you know how it goes. Winds gusting 20-40mph.
I hit a 40mph side wind once that took me up in the air. I never want to do that again.
Pucker factor!?!?  It took me three days to pass the seat.  
  I can think  of other ways to get the adrenaline flowing besides unannounced lanes changes . The busa doesn't have the best crosswind component going me thinks.
yes Cache
i know exactly what your talking about, i hate taking the Sr14 when the winds are high. as you know it has more turns than I84
I experience that all the time here...we still ride in it, but it's very tough to hit curves when it's windy....I have been blown into the other lane a few times, and onto the shoulder on I-35 once by wind. Sucks.
I haven't been in a wind so high that it bothered normal riding...But I have refrained from wheelies because the wind was to high...
a friend and me were coming back from Dallas TX. one year when the winds picked up so strong that it almost forced us in to the other lane while out on the highway... (it wasn't a very pleasant trip home! ) every time we corrected for the wind; it would stop blowing and we would once again almost end up in the other lane!
I was heading out to Lake Okeechobee and decided that the brutal westerly winds weren't worth the beating I was taking, especially since I take 2-lane backroads. Getting blasted upright at mach 1 isn't my idea of entertaining the cows who are watching from the side of of the road. I'm heading for the garage after the bike cools down to do some cleanup and maintenance.

Hopefully things will be better for the run to Daytona next week...
I recommend everyone look up windspeeds and the force associated with them.

8 | 39-46 mph | Fresh Gale:
Twigs and small branches are broken from trees, walking into the wind is very difficult.

9 | 47-54 mph | Strong Gale:
Slight damage occurs to buildings, shingles are blown off of roofs.

10 | 55-63 mph | Whole Gale:
Large trees are uprooted, building damage is considerable.

I talked to a storm chaser about this. He sees semitrucks blown over all the time.

What does that tell you?